Lerena wins WBC Silver title and eliminator

By Ron Jackson

South Africa’s Kevin Lerena boxed his way to a 12 round unanimous points decision over the fancied Ryad Merhy from the Côte D’Ivoire, at Emperors Palace near Kempton Park on Saturday night, to win the WBC bridgerweight silver title and the eliminator for the WBC bridgerweight world title.

The scores were – Judge Eddie Pappoe 118-110, judge Thabo Spampool 116-112 and judge Daniel van der Welie 115-113.

Through the first three rounds there was little in it has both fighters boxed cautiously working for openings and only scoring with the odd punch.

In round four Lerena (100.75kg) fighting off the front foot from the southpaw stance did enough to shade the round.

This pattern continued through round five to seven and in the eighth round Lorena scored with shots to the body to finish strongly.

Lerena continued to move forward to score with measured shots against Merhy (98.75kg) who was unable to work out the southpaw stance of the South Africa.

Lerena remained in control to the twelfth round with very little coming back from the highly rated and fancied Merhy who was out thought and out boxed by the South African.

Lerena improved his record 29-2, 14 KOs and Merhy’s record dropped to 31-2, 26 KOs.

Lerena has now earned the right to challenge the current WBC bridgerweight champion Lukasz Rozanski from Poland.


Making the first defence of his South African heavyweight title Keaton Gomes (102.60kg) had to come back from a badly cut eye to stop Joshua Pretorius (107.65kg) in the fourth round.

Gomes made a fast start as he took the fight to the slow moving Pretorious through rounds one to three.

In the fourth round Gomes scored with a big right hand that sent the challenger down and out against the ropes as referee Jaap van Niewenhuizen waved the fight off at 1 minute 10 seconds in the round.

Junior flyweight: Beaven Sibanda W tko 2 Sandile Wessels.
Junior bantamweight: Ndabazinhle Nkosi W pts 4 Miranda Malajika.
Junior welterweight: Ntethelelo Nkosi W pts 6 Gift Bholo.
Welterweight: Keanu Koopman W rsf 2 Pieter de Klerk.

The tournament was presented by Golden Gloves Promotions.

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  • If Merhy had a decent workrate he would be useful. Basically, Lerena just outworked him.

  • Mehry’s going to feel really bad when he gets home and watches this fight. He hardly did anything in this fight, especially in the first half. I thought 118-110 was a fair score. The Gomes – Pretorious fight was fun and it was a nice body shot that ended it. This entire card streamed (legally) on YouTube.

  • Well done Lerena, deserved the win. But gotta keep his defense up, stared relaxing at times and got caught a lot unnecessarily, especially in the last round.

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